Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Ambassador Melanne Verveer today stressed that investments in women and girls correlate positively with poverty reduction and a country’s general prosperity.
In her remarks to the OECD Ministerial Session on Development and Gender, Ms. Verveer underscored women and girls need to be at the core of their efforts to ensure sustainable growth and effective development.
“When we boost female employment and promote women’s entrepreneurship, we drive economic growth. It also helps to reverse the surging birthrates that some countries are experiencing.”-Ms. Verveer
According to Ms. Verveer, economies are severely hampered when countries do not tap the economic potential of women. She added that according to the World Bank, the greater the representation of women in politica decision-making, the lower the level of corruption.
Ms. Verveer emphasized that the OECD Gender Initiative is highly supported by the United States. She said the initiative is focused on education and employment.
“One outcome of the Initiative will be the creation of a data bank of vital economic data disaggregated by gender. This will be essential to better capture women’s economic status and enable the creation of indicators for evidence-based decisions, as well as identify better ways to address the barriers women confront.”-Ms. Verveer
Ms. Verver also announced that the OECD will produce a report focused on the APEC countries and their 21 economies to be released at the APEC Women and the Economy Summit which will take place in San Francisco in September.
“Lastly, unprecedented changes in North Africa and the Middle East (MENA) include serious economic challenges as well. I want to commend the OECD and Ambassador Karen Kornbluh for the important work that is being done to create an open and growing inter-regional network to support the creation and growth of women-led businesses. The MENA region has the lowest rates of women’s economic participation.”-Ms. Verveer
Ms. Verveer reiterated that without women’s empowerment, the promise of the Arab Spring will not be possible.